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Windows 7: Activation key does not work anymore


11 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 
Activation key does not work anymore

Hello guys,

I'm coming here after a while of looking around for a more feasible solution, and after talking to an M$ tech. Apparently a retail key can only be installed a number of 3 times, even if it's on the same computer.

Here's what's going on:

I have bought an OEM copy for my desktop, which had the Retail copy already installed and activated, and changed the product key on the desktop to have it activated on the OEM key, so this way I'd be sure I can use the retail on my laptop, on which I recently added the Crucial M4 SSD. A month later, after being sure that Windows works without issues, I decided to activate it, that was today. Issue: I can't use my activation key that came with the Windows Pro Retail that I bought in 2009, because, supposedly, it's been installed on 3 different computers, which is simply untrue. The M$ tech told me that the phone activation would work, but it was not the case. . If useful, the same tech told me that he couldn't activate it for me because "it had been used on 3 computers".

I have rearmed the evaluation period for the time being, but I do not want to use any illegal means of activating Windows. What I know is that I will never touch a retail version of Windows again, it is just an overpriced piece of garbage, but I am not willing to pay for a new key either. Right now I just feel like M$ just stole nearly $350 from me.

If you guys have any input to help me with this, so that I could reactivate Windows without the need to pay for a new key, I'd be grateful.

As for specs, since it's the desktop's specs in the below computer specs:
Asus G53SW-A1
Crucial M4 128GB SSD
750GB 7200RPM HDD
Windows 7 Pro (needed for college)
8GB RAM
GTX 460M video card.

Probably not useful in this thread anyway.

Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Sbrideau,

A product key number can only be activated on 3 computers at the same time if it is one that came with a retail Family Pack copy of Windows 7.

Otherwise, you can only have a retail product key number activated on only 1 computer at a time, with it uninstalled or removed from any other computer it was activated on first. There is not a limit of how many times you are able to activate it as long as it removed from any other installation first, so I have no idea where the operator got the 3 limit from. With that said, you may have to do a phone activation if you have activated it often in a short period.

Either something is missing, or the MS activation operator misunderstood you. You should be able to activate it over the phone. Try doing the phone activation again and wait for a operator if available.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Hmm, then I don't know why it's not working. I guess I'll call again for the phone activation and wait for an operator again. The only computer the key is installed on right now is the laptop where it's not activating, to my knowledge, unless someone found a way to my Win 7 plastic box and took the key :\
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Apr 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

Please post an MGADiag report - it mey help us to see the cause of the problem.
To properly analyse and solve problems with Activation and Validation, we need to see a full copy of the report produced by the MGADiag tool
(download and save to desktop - http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012 )
Once saved, run the tool.
Click on the Continue button, which will produce the report.
To copy the report to your response, click on the Copy button in the tool (ignore any error messages at this point), and then paste (using either r-click/Paste, or Ctrl+V ) into your response.
- **in your own thread**, please
Please also state the Version and Edition of Windows quoted on your COA sticker (if you have one) on the case of your machine (or inside the battery compartment), but do NOT quote the Key on the sticker!
How to Tell - Home
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

Here's the requested MGADiag report. Not sure what you meant with the part **in your own thread** but I guess this might have to do with people that just posted them in any thread?

Code:
 
Decided to remove this as it is not needed anymore.
The installed version of Windows is Windows 7 Professional x64 (the one in the attached picture). The one on the COA sticker is Windows 7 Home Premium.


Attached Thumbnails
Activation key does not work anymore-imag0114.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sbrideau View Post
Apparently a retail key can only be installed a number of 3 times, even if it's on the same computer.
While you might have to call in to get an activation code if you activate more than 3 times in a relatively short period of time, I'm sure you can activate a retail key more than 3 times total.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sbrideau View Post
What I know is that I will never touch a retail version of Windows again, it is just an overpriced piece of garbage, but I am not willing to pay for a new key either. Right now I just feel like M$ just stole nearly $350 from me.
If you felt that it was garbage, whey did you buy 2 copies of the software?

I would suggest calling Microsoft again and try to get them to activate it for you. Ask them to tell you which 3 computers it was installed on, to see what information they might have.

Is there any chance that a friend might have decided to use your license key? Or is there any way that your copy of Windows was from a shady website or other software house that might have sold you a copy with a key that wasn't legit and has now been deactivated?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64
 
 

I bought it at staples, so it's legit alright. I'll ask them when I have time to call them back. Also I have more than one copy because I have 2 computers. Retail is garbage, OEM is not. Next time I'll just pay the $150 for OEM and leave the retail alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sbrideau View Post
Apparently a retail key can only be installed a number of 3 times, even if it's on the same computer.
While you might have to call in to get an activation code if you activate more than 3 times in a relatively short period of time, I'm sure you can activate a retail key more than 3 times total.....
According to Jason, Microsoft Answers Support Engineer " If you acquired Windows via retail purchase (boxed product), you may activate via the Internet the first five times. Subsequent activations are allowed but must be completed via telephone."
How many times can I activate Windows 7? - Microsoft Answers

Accordingly, the sixth time onwards one would have to activate by phone.

If anyone is aware of any changes announced officially by Microsoft subsequent to this, they are welcome to share it. ( No "I think", please. )
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Jumanji,

That can't be correct at all unless he meant within a short time frame. I know for a fact that I have activated my system online with a retail Windows 7 way more than 5 times with as many clean reinstalls I end up having to do with all the testing I do on it. This is based on years of personal experience.

I'm sure that there must be some secret number of activations allowed within a short time frame before it gets flagged to require a phone activation for a unknown period of time, but a retail copy is not suppose to have a limit on how many times it can be activated (online or phone) as long as it's only activated on one computer at a time and removed from any others first. An exception is if the retail product key has been invalidated by Microsoft for what ever reason (ex: activation abuse by customer).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sbrideau View Post
Here's the requested MGADiag report. Not sure what you meant with the part **in your own thread** but I guess this might have to do with people that just posted them in any thread?

[CODE]
Diagnostic Report (1.9.0027.0):
-----------------------------------------
Windows Validation Data-->

Validation Code: 0
Cached Online Validation Code: 0x0
Windows Product Key: (I hope you don't mind me removing the key and the hash?)
Windows Product Key Hash: (if really needed I'll PM it)
Windows Product ID: 00371-177-1430922-85511
Windows Product ID Type: 5
Windows License Type: Retail
Windows OS version: 6.1.7601.2.00010100.1.0.048



The installed version of Windows is Windows 7 Professional x64 (the one in the attached picture). The one on the COA sticker is Windows 7 Home Premium.
The Product ID is fine - so it's not an MSDN Key (and shouldn't be, seeing as you got it from Staples.

As far as I can see, there is no reason why this shouldn't activate fine over the telephone..

With a Full Retail License, you can activate it as many times as you like, on as many different machines as you like, so long as it's ONLY installed on one machine at a time. It may be that you didn't tell the operator sufficiently learly that the earlier installs had been 'undone', and so they were under the impression that this was a second install

The only thing where '3 installs' comes into play is with the Family Pack Upgrade - which only applies to Home Premium anyhow.

I would suggest using telephone activation again - and stressing that all previous installations have been removed, and this is the ONLY computer with this Key currently installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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